Velvet Antler: Does it have health benefits for pets?

Velvet is the word used to describe the antler of animals such as deer, elk, and caribou before it has started to calcify. In the Orient, velvet has been used for over 2,000 years as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. In North America velvet is marketed as a dietary supplement.

Research promotes the following abilities of velvet antler: reduce inflammation, influence body metabolism, support immune function, protect damaged tissues, and improve blood, liver and kidney function.

There are numerous old and current studies, articles and manuscripts written about velvet antler. It would seem that there is a synergistic balance of the components, as they exist naturally in velvet antler.

Although nobody is certain WHY velvet works so well in so many different areas, one of the working theories is that our diets are lacking in the essential nutrients that are needed for our bodies to properly work. Velvet antler supplement gives the body what it needs to work properly, thus allowing it to fix itself.

Can I give velvet antler to my pets?

In today’s society, pets have become and integral part of the family structure. Because of the importance of pets, owners have become very conscientious about the health and quality of life of those pets. With the average person far outliving their pets, the want for health and longevity of the family pet is certainly understandable.

In North America, millions of pets suffer from chronic arthritis and other aging diseases. The vast array of conventional drugs used to treat these conditions often has serious and even fatal side effects. Because of these side effects, animal health care providers are continually seeking quality alternative treatments.

Pets with clinical arthritis

In a Gallup, New Mexico study, velvet antler, which has no known side effects, has had remarkable results on almost 80% of the 200 animals with clinical arthritis who participated in the study.

In addition to regenerative effects on joint cartilage and joint fluid, velvet antler also has a positive effect on the immune system. This boost often creates a feeling of well being, which affects the appetite and attitude of animals under treatment.

Why does velvet antler work better than some single nutrient natural products on the market?

The combination of nutrients available in velvet antler provides a synergistic effect. The result of combining efforts of many nutrients shows a much greater gain than the effort of a single nutrient.

Some more positive effects of velvet antler in animals are:

  • Improved hair coat.
  • Improved kidney function.
  • Increased reproductive performance.
  • Accelerated wound healing.

    All are important issues for pets from young to old.

    Average daily cost for an owner to supplement his/her pet with velvet antler is generally cheaper than a cup of coffee.

    Work is currently underway to study effectiveness of velvet antler in young animals of breeds that have a high incidence of hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is an inherited disease of the hip and elbow joints.

    The joints begin deteriorating early in life, leading to severe pain and loss of function. Some breeds, such as the German Shepherd and Labrador, have a greater risk than smaller breeds. Velvet antler appears to slow the progression of the disease and increases the animal’s quality of life.

    There is also some indication that velvet antler’s use in puppies promotes bone and muscle growth. With athletic animals, velvet antler is useful in speeding up muscle recovery and preventing soreness after hard workouts.

    In horses, positive effects are being noted in musculo-skeletal conditions, hoof and hair growth, and wound healing.

    Velvet antler is not a panacea or cure-all, but it can definitely improve the quality of life for animals in a safe and affordable manner. It has a place in the diet and nutiritonal supplementation program of pets and is a natural and annual renewable resource that every pet and horse owner should consider.


 AUTHOR: Clinton Balok, DVM

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